Timberwolves loading up for another run to state | Softball
Last updated 3/16/2018 at Noon
Jackson appears to have all the pieces needed to make a fourth straight trip to the 4A state softball tournament.
The Timberwolves return one of the most talented pitcher/catcher duos in junior Iyanla “Ice” Pennington and senior Sam Mutolo, both of whom started last season. Pennington earned first-team, all-league pitching honors, while Mutolo was a second team catcher.
The two will be continuing their careers in college with Mutolo headed to Western Washington and Pennington already verbally committing to Coastal Carolina in South Carolina.
During her freshman season, Pennington experienced some control issues, according to Jackson coach Kyle Peacocke. She worked on those issues and in the last year and a half, Pennington really has come a long way.
“She throws hard,” Peacocke said. “She’s got a real good screwball, a good curve ball, a good rise ball. She’s developed a pretty good changeup. She’s a complete pitcher. She’s really become a professional pitcher.”
It helps, of course, to have a veteran catcher behind the plate and Mutolo has done what Peacocke describes as an amazing job.
“She’s super positive and very smart,” the Wolfpack coach said.
The infield is led by senior shortstop Kristina Day, who will be continuing her softball career at the University of Massachusetts.
“She’s been the starting shortstop since she was a freshman,” Peacocke said. “It’s pretty nice to rely on that for the last three years and this year as well.”
Other returners include junior second baseman Jessica Asantor, utility player Macy Tarbox, sophomore third baseman Kassidi Dean and senior outfielder Braylin Jenson.
The battle for varsity spots is stiff with 25 individuals who are select players.
“We have some players on our JV team who would be on other teams’ varsity,” Peacocke said. “We have a lot of good young talent.”
The Timberwolves did lose some power on offense with the graduation of Taylor Adams and Allison Endreson, but Peacocke said that he expects to have a strong lineup, one through nine.
Dean and Asantor are two players who have the potential to hit home runs and extra base hits, Peacocke said.
The Timberwolves finished third in the Wesco 4A behind Lake Stevens and Monroe but beat the Vikings to capture its third straight district crown.
“They have high expectations,” Peacocke said. “They hold themselves to that standard throughout the year.